Brocade’s campus networking solutions, which include the Brocade ICX 6610 switch and the Brocade Fastiron SX family of aggregation/core switches (both available now), are designed to optimize users’ experience in connecting to the corporate network. While Brocade has spent a considerable amount of time making noise in the data center space over the past year or so, this latest focus is more on the actual connection to the network by the users.
“We’re answering two megatrends -- mobility and the wireless devices [employees] use, and the concurrent trend in data center consolidation and cloud networking. Both have their challenges in creating an optimal user experience,” said Joe Ammarito, senior director, Enterprise Campus Business at Brocade.
The Brocade ICX 6610 switch is next-generation high-end stackable switch featuring 8x10GbE ports and, according to the company, the highest aggregation bandwidth in its class. Plus, Ammarito said, it is priced about half the cost of a comparable Cisco Systems switch.
The Fastiron SX family, meanwhile, is comprised of chassis-based aggregation and core switches featuring 8x10GbE scalable to 128 ports and offering seamless failover -- a workhorse for the demands of the large enterprise and multi-building campus environments.
The campus networking technologies complement the company’s Brocade One vision of enabling applications and data anywhere and everywhere on the network through data center-like capabilities.
“With our VCS and VDX [data center] technology we are providing a great fabric solution, but what we think is lost in the market is the realization that a company can’t stop there -- they have to provide an onramp to access the cloud and that is the campus network,” Ammarito said. “If you want to embrace the benefits that cloud convergence and virtualization are offering, you need to have the data center performance everywhere on the network.”
Barbara Spicek, Brocade’s vice president of Worldwide Channels, said the new campus technologies are also a natural complement for the company’s partners as they move beyond the data center and look for ways to address their customers’ performance issues surrounding mobility and cloud computing.
“The role of channel partner is changing in the cloud, and the feedback we get from partners is they need to differentiate themselves,” she said. “We are taking this actively to expand our partner network with new partners that are focused on that side of the network, but there are a number who are working across the board already, so there is no black and white. Their scope is broad and a lot are working to increase their skill set. There will be a lot of existing partners who will embrace this technology, but we also want to be attractive to those working solely in the campus network arena.”
To that end, Brocade is adding the campus network technologies to its Alliance Partner Network program, which includes access to Brocade technical experts and flexible use of marketing development funds, she said.
“We believe we have the advantage in technology,” Ammarito said. “Even in the campus world end users looking for technology leadership and need a higher-performance offering. We can offer that.”